Guides

Lisbon – what’s not to like?

As the capital of Portugal, Lisbon offers all things to all people – from charming little museums to imposing monasteries and Gothic cathedrals – all spread across the hills overlooking the River Tegus (or Rio Tejo) which is the longest river in all of Portugal and Spain.  Boats sailed from this river, many years ago, to discover the New World, and it leads into the Atlantic Ocean via Lisbon itself.

There are so many different parts of town – on the one hand you can walk along the seaside, where Vasco da Gama returned as the first Portuguese explorer to reach India by sea – or in Bairro Alto, up in the hills, there are lots of restaurants and bars which fill your ears with a range of music from reggae to jazz or fado, traditional Portuguese singing, dating back to the 1820s. If you’re a party animal, there are plenty of nightclubs in all sorts of unexpected places, whether in the docks or even in 18th century mansions!

However, some would say that the really great joys of Lisbon come from exploring the little hidden away backstreets where the gossip is exchanged among the locals over a glass of wine at one of the charming traditional restaurants or after buying their fresh bread in the mornings before taking on the challenges of the day, over a bica (espresso).

For a bit of retail therapy, there’s plenty to buy in Chiado, a traditional shopping area with a mix of old and modern commercial establishments.

Algarve

The Algarve is by far the most popular place in Portugal, both for tourists and investors.  On the Southern coast of Portugal, it boasts the perfect climate which is neither too hot nor too cold, and has beautiful golden sandy beaches with clear, refreshing, crystal waters and a cool breeze coming off the sea.

There are charming little fishing villages to explore or there are faster paced cities in the area, such as Faro, Albufeira and Quarteira, so plenty to offer for all tastes.  The Algarve is awash with golf courses, and there’s tennis, scuba, parasailing and many other water sports in which to engage.  Not only that, but there are breathtaking cliffs, fabulous birdlife to see as well as wonderful flowers on the hillsides.

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